Call for cosponsors on Inclusive ENDA

US Representative Barney Frank has issued a call for cosponsors on legislation to provide employment protections based on sexual orientation, gender identify and gender expression (known as an inclusive ENDA).

Your charge is to contact your US Representative – by Tuesday – and simply ask them to cosponsor the legislation.  You can do this by telephone at 202-224-3121 (give the operator your zip code to be connected to the right office). Or you can fax a copy of a letter from Barney Frank which is attached to this post (see below).  Simply include a cover sheet with your contact information so that they know you live in their district and one sentence “Please cosponsor this legislation.”  Feel free to add any personal anecdotes about your experiences of discrimination in the workplace.  Or anecdotes of your friends and family members. 

I had a senior manager at a former place of employment send me an email, using company resources, that featured a sexually vulgar reference to lesbians. I had the protection of working in the City where such action violates the Human Relations Act.  It didn't go that far because my company acted swiftly when I filed a complaint, but I do not underestimate the power of that legislation to prompt them to take said swift action. 

A call for co-sponsors has just been issued by Representative Frank's office. You are requested to call or fax your U.S. Representative to ask him or her co-sponsor the bill. The call ends Tuesday, June 23 at 6 p.m.

You can find the call for co-sponsorship at our new Inclusive ENDA web address: Look at the bottom of the page for the “Links” section of that page. The call for co-sponsorship is listed as #4. You can view in HTML or Word.

If you are not sure who your U.S. Representative is, and would like to find out, you can easily do so at by using your zip code.

The telephone number for Congress is 202-224-3121. If you prefer to fax, you can find your U.S. Representative's fax number at (If you fax, be sure to include the recipient's name, and your name and telephone number. It might be best to call the office to ensure the request is received.)

If you are thinking “I don't have time today” please consider this.

* This past week, the Obama Administation's Department of Justice filed a legal brief that linked same sex marriage to incest and pedophilia.

* This past week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that he does not have a single Senator willing to sponsor legislation repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

* This past week, Pennsylvania State Senator John Eichelberger made the statement “we are allowing them to exist” during a radio interview about marriage equality.  Guess who “them” is?  

How many slaps in the face will it take to get us to make the time to do these things?  The majority of you have cell phones with free long distance and need only five minutes to make this call — sitting in your driveway before you leave for work, stepping outside for a quick break, during the fifteen minute elevator ride in the Cathedral of Learning, over lunch, after work, etc.  If not, you can access email addresses via the links above.  Email is not as effective as real contact.

According to the Inclusive ENDA project, there are currently 34 members of the House of Representatives who wholeheartedly support an inclusive bill.  A verion which excluded transpersons passed last year but went nowhere.  Exactly how many ways can you divide equality before we end up self-destructing?

 Definite YesProbable YesUndecided/ UnknownProbable NoDefinite NoSource
Robert A. Brady  x   co-sponsor in 2007
Chaka Fattah  x   co-sponsor in 2007
Kathleen A. Dahlkemper   x  Sabrina Schnur: undecided as of 6-15-09
Jason Altmire   x   
Glenn Thompson   x   
Jim Gerlach   x   
Joe Sestak  x   co-sponsor in 2007
Patrick J. Murphy  x   co-sponsor in 2007
Bill Shuster    x voted against in 2007
Christopher P. Carney   x   
Paul E. Kanjorski   x  Rachel Miller: still undecided as of 6-8-09
John P. Murtha   x   
Allyson Y. Schwartz  x   co-sponsor in 2007
Michael F. Doyle x    co-sponsor in 2007; Sue Kerr: definite yes
Charles W. Dent   x   
Joseph R. Pitts    x voted against in 2007
Tim Holden  x   co-sponsor in 2007
Tim Murphy    x voted against in 2007
Todd Russell Platts x    Co-sponsor 2009

Source:  Inclusive ENDA campaign.

Two definite yes responses (Doyle and Platts).  Even Allyson Schwartz is possible at best.  What? 

So, please get to work so we can have SOMETHING going on at a federal level that is not laced with the word “incest,” okay?  I contacted Doyle's office and plan to follow up on Monday to determine if he will sign on to the legislation.  Southwestern Pennsylvania Democrats need more progressive leadership on LGBTQ issues.  They need more education and one source of that education is Congressmen Doyle and Altmire having hard numbers on how many constituents made time to do this important work. 

Rejoice because you can literally make a huge impact on the local, state and national level with three simple phone calls.  Call your Allegheny County Councilperson before the July 1 vote on the local ordinance.  Call your State Representative immediately on HB 300.  Call your US Representative about ENDA before Tuesday. 

We have opportunities to prove that we do not exist at the pleasure of our elected officials or anyone else.  Prove Senator Eichelberger wrong by existing your way to a telephone or fax machine.  Prove President Obama's Administration wrong by convincing your partner and loved ones to do the same thing. 

Or don't be surprised at what comes spewing out of the mouths of our elected officials next.


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